On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, the Library of Congress announced that it will be migrating to FOLIO using EBSCO FOLIO Services to "transform collections management and access" via its Library Collections Access Platform. The announcement made it clear that the Library of Congress saw the decision to move to FOLIO as a way "to further develop and implement a new, open-source IT platform that will revolutionize how the Library's vast physical and digital collections are managed and made accessible for the public, Congress, Library employees and other institutions."
With more than 60 institutions already using EBSCO FOLIO, and many more coming on board over the next few years (including the MOBIUS consortium), the decision by the Library of Congress cements FOLIO, the library and vendor-built open-source library services platform, as a viable option for libraries worldwide and as part of a revolutionary decision with far-reaching impact.
As Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in the press release:
"This is a milestone in our journey to implement a user-centered approach to connecting more people to the Library's collections. We are grateful for Congress' generous investment in this next-generation system that is essential to the Library's digital-forward strategy, which harnesses technology to bridge geographical divides, expand our reach and enhance our services."
Part of this "digital-forward" strategy includes a new, modern approach to accessing high quality metadata, including an expansion of the work the Library of Congress has been doing on BIBFRAME, which its announcement referred to as "a new bibliographic description standard being developed by the library and partner organizations that uses a linked data model to make bibliographic information more useful both within and outside the library community."
EBSCO Information Services Executive Vice President of Library Services and Research Databases, Gar Sydnor, said this partnership with the Library of Congress is a great opportunity for the FOLIO project. "Being able to collaborate with the Library of Congress team and bring a modern approach to digital access is an honor and a real statement about the power of open source technology. We know that the work we do for the Library of Congress, an international leader with more holdings than any other library system, will indeed have a revolutionary impact worldwide on libraries and their patrons."
By providing key development resources to the project and by offering world class support services, Sydnor said, EBSCO helps make open-source solutions viable, even to the largest institutions. "An open-source community that, by design, is backed by vendors like EBSCO, has helped prove the project's founding principles of adaptability, professional hosting and professional support. Sites can feel confident moving forward with open-source software because we are there to provide implementation, hosting and support services. Given the increased consolidation in the ILS/LSP and overall library services marketplace, FOLIO is -- and always will be -- open source, so institutions have an open-source option and the opportunity to select the best service providers for the platform."
The term "next-generation" has been used to describe new services that incorporate electronic resources more seamlessly into library automation systems including integrated library systems and newer library services platforms. EBSCO's work with large systems such as the Library of Congress and consortia such as MOBIUS, exemplify the next generation's "next gen" — the future gen.
Being part of a collaboration to expand BIBFRAME and deeper Web discovery through linked data is something EBSCO is uniquely qualified to do. As one of the leading SaaS innovators, EBSCO is able to take advantage of its development capabilities, its understanding of holdings, and search and discovery, to innovate for the future.
Whether leveraging its own services such as EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), Panorama or Full Text Finder, or its expertise developing the FOLIO platform as a tool for innovation, EBSCO provides libraries with the choice to select and implement the solutions that make sense for them. EBSCO has created not only a strong hosting service for EBSCO FOLIO libraries but an unparalleled implementation team of library professionals designed to manage and support customers through the entire process.
Changing ILS/LSPs is a big decision, and it is essential that libraries, of all sizes, know they can depend on a company that has its foundation in the library space, is contributing to the FOLIO project in a multitude of ways, and can support them